Take a ride on the Heritage Trail

Explore 18 museums to learn about Placer County’s history
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Hitch up the horses: It's time for the fifth annual Heritage Tour through Placer County.

You don't have a horse? Well, a car will have to do. Or hop on a chartered bus for a convenient way to visit museums during the two-day tour, which takes place Saturday, Aug. 11, and Sunday, Aug. 12.

The Heritage Trail features 18 local museums between Roseville and North Lake Tahoe, which open their doors admission-free.

"It's my brainchild," said Placer County Museums Administrator Melanie Barton. "I was looking for a way to showcase all the local history museums of the county."

She said the county boasts many small museums people may not know of or that lack the resources to organize special events.

The Heritage Trail offers a sampling of what's available, and encourages people to come back and spend more time at these museums in the future. Learn how American Indian culture, the Gold Rush and construction of the Transcontinental Railroad helped shape the Placer County - and California - of today.

"The thing that's so neat about this event is people of all ages will enjoy it," Barton said. "I've seen 30-year-olds without children having a blast."

The trail includes the SkiSport Museum, Golden Drift Museum, Colfax Area Heritage Museum, Forest Hill Divide Museum, Rocklin Historical Society Museum, Maidu Museum and Historic Site, Carnegie Museum, Griffith Quarry Museum and more.

Take a walking tour of the quarry museum to see how granite was extracted from the earth and used to build structures. The Carnegie Museum features about 90 model airplanes and the carriage purchased by the Fiddyment family in 1906.

While at the Maidu Museum, explore an ancient village site where Valley Nisenan Maidu lived for thousands of years. Learn about native plants and bedrock grinding holes, see sandstone petroglyphs, grind acorns and view the indigenous art gallery.

"Folks should visit the museum because we are open extended hours Saturday and Sunday, and entrance is free," said museum Supervisor Mark Murphy.

The museum will also have an American Indian elder on site from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. both days to answer questions and lead tours.

Sena Christian can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.


Fifth annual Heritage Trail

What: Two-day tour of 18 museums in Placer


When: Bus leaves at 8:45 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 11. Seats on Sunday's bus are sold out. Museums open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.

Where: Meet at upper parking lot of Gold Country Fairgrounds, 1273 High St. in


Cost: $10 for bus, free admission for museums

Info: To reserve a spot on the bus, call (530) 889-6500. Space is limited. Tour maps are available online at Printed guides are available at participating museums.